The long awaited One World Trade Center set a record today, becoming the tallest building in New York. The in-progress tower surpassed New York City’s current highest building, the Empire State Building, which soars to 1,250 feet. The original Twin Towers held the title of NYC’s tallest buildings until they were destroyed in the September 11 attacks. Once complete, One World Trade Center will reach 1,776 feet with its antenna spire, a height chosen to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

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The building, which has been long delayed and under construction for six years, will rise to 1,368 feet, plus the 408-foot spire. USA Today raises the interesting point of tower height controversy, saying that purists believe antennas and needles should not be considered when measuring height.

“Consider the case of the Empire State Building: Measured from the sidewalk to the tip of its needle-like antenna, the granddaddy of all super-tall skyscrapers actually stands 1,454 feet high, well above the mark being surpassed by One World Trade Center on Monday,” reports USA Today. Purists, though, say antennas shouldn’t count when determining building height. An antenna, they say, is more like furniture than a piece of architecture. Like a chair sitting on a rooftop, an antenna can be attached or removed.”

The green complex will achieve LEED status and will house the Port Authority offices in addition to many other private companies. The $3.9 billion project is slated for completion in late 2013 or early 2014.

+ One World Trade Center

Lead image via WTC Progress Facebook